Mexico City 2015: Recurve men’s competition preview
The 2015 Archery World Cup Final runs on 24/25 October in Mexico City .
Two stages, two finals and two silver medals put – then soon-to-become for a second time – World Archery Champion Kim Woojin to the top of the Archery World Cup rankings, and into a confirmed first seed for Mexico City 2015 when it was sure that none of his Korean A-Team would compete at stage four in 2015.
Teammate Lee Seungyun ended the year ranked second thanks to a win in Antalya. He came fourth in Shanghai, too.
No silverware for three-time Archery World Cup winner Brady Ellison in 2015, but no finish lower than ninth, either. Consistency for the qualification, and the USA athlete makes his sixth Final in a row in 2015.
JC Valladont, Wroclaw winner, Collin Klimitchek and Miguel Alvarino Garcia all had enough points stashed to stave off challengers at the last stage of the year, in Colombia, which fifth seed Xing Yu won. Without that gold medal, the Chinese athlete would have been well off the pace, after making it no further than the third round early in the season.
Koreans Ku Bonchan and Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek were ranked fourth and eight, respectively, on the year, but each nation can qualify just two athletes to an Archery World Cup Final – so were left out of the line-up.
(The seed for the Archery World Cup Final is given in brackets after each athlete’s name.)
Kim Woojin (1)
Kim Woojin has held the world and Archery World Cup titles at the same time once before: When, in 2012, he added World Cup Final gold, in Tokyo, to the World Archery Championships crown he’d taken in Turin – at the age of 19.
Four years later, in Copenhagen, Woojin banked a second world title – and is top seeded in a race for his second World Cup Final gold medal in his third appearance at the event. (He debuted at Edinburgh 2010 but finished fifth.)
Lee Seungyun (2)
The Korean man that found himself in the middle of his teammate Kim Woojin’s world champion sandwich, Belek-Antalya 2013 winner Seungyun came fourth at the Archery World Cup Final in 2013. At 20, he has five senior world-level gold medals (three Archery World Cup stages, one world champs win and a gold at the Universiade in 2015).
He’s been shooting on the Korean team since 2013 and has a world-best 83% match win percentage internationally.
Brady Ellison (3)
The only person in the Archery World Cup’s history to have won the Final three times, Brady – amazingly – hasn’t climbed a stage individual podium since 2012. Since then, though, he’s collected gold, silver and bronze at the yearly circuit-closing event.
“You have no pressure at the World Cup Final,” Brady said, after banking his sixth appearance in a row. “You win one match, you’re into the medal matches and from that point on you just go for it. It’s a kind of no-hold-nothing-back tournament, relaxed and you have nothing to lose – so take the risk.”
Brady’s 74% match win percentage ranks sixth best in the world for recurve men with more than 30 international matches under their belt.
JC Valladont (4)
Jean-Charles made the gold medal match at stage three in Wroclaw and said: “I’ve been competing seriously for eight years and been doing archery for nearly 15 years, and it comes down to this.”
“I’ve had a few third places and fourth places but that’s it. This is my first gold medal. It means exactly what you think it means.”
Xing Yu (5)
Bronze medallist at the junior worlds in 2009, hulking Xing Yu – and his 31" drawlength – is far removed from the youth ranks.
He beat two-time Olympic team champ Im Dong Hyun to win in Medellin and climb the individual podium for the first time, after collecting 12 team and mixed team medals on the circuit with Chinese team and mixed teams since 2010.
Only a smattering of international experience on his resume prior to 2015, Collin Klimitchek – a perpetual high-qualifier on the season – kept States teammate Brady off the podium in Antalya, when he took a 6-2 victory in the bronze final.
A youth silver medallist in 2015, too, Klimitchek will face Brady, again, in the first round in Mexico City.
Miguel Alvarino was something of a surprise winner of first European Games in Baku. It probably shouldn’t have been, though, as despite the fact it remains his only senior podium to date, Miguel had two top-eight finishes on the Archery World Cup circuit to start the year.
He finished sixth in Shanghai and seventh in Antalya. He didn’t reach such heights for the rest of the year, and said he was “taking it easy” at the Olympic test event in Rio, in preparation for Mexico City.
Luis Alvarez (8, host country)
Twenty-four year-old Alvarez won a three-way shoot-off to represent Mexico on home soil at the 10th Archery World Cup Final. While he banked middling results on the circuit in 2015, he did win the Pan American Games in Toronto.
Storyline in Short
Brady’s shot in five Archery World Cup Finals and made five Archery World Cup Final podiums. Since 2010, he’s been the single most dominant athlete at the tournament, and has the most wins of any athlete at the Final in the circuit’s history.
If he bags a fourth World Cup Final gold, he’ll cement his legacy and put his results out of reach for a good few years, at least…
The Final: Kim / Ellison ?
…and that’s why he’s odds-on to make the gold final, against an archer who has been simply sublime in 2015. A second world title in Copenhagen and a win at the Olympic test event, as well as a number of world records, have made Kim Woojin’s 2015 an impressive one.
In fact, according to our database, he’s probably the most-winning Korean athlete without an Olympic medal.
Their historical head-to-head in international matchplay swings 2-1 in Woojin’s favour.
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